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Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn
Bold, beautiful, independent Katharine Hepburn

Remember when Dove started airing those “real women” commercials? We were all like, what?! That’ so cool! Real women! Not stick-thin celebrities who look nothing like us!

I love what Dove has done with their social mission help women and girls see beauty as a source of confidence, not anxiety. That’s especially important to me, since I have a daughter who just turned 16 (and she sees that I don’t always like myself in the mirror).

This commercial notes that six out of ten girls stop doing what they love because they don’t like the way their body looks. Dove’s mission is to celebrate the four girls who never stop doing what they love.

On the Dove website, they offer some great self-esteem guides, workshops, activities and videos to help girls embrace their unique beauty. I LOVE that.

The Dove® Global Self-Esteem Ambassador is Jess Weiner, founder of Talk to Jess, LLC, a consulting company that specializes in creating authentic and empowering content for women and girls. She’s also the author of two best-selling books, “A Very Hungry Girl: How I Filled Up on Life…and How You Can, Too!” and “Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds from Now,” and she’s currently working on her third book, which centers on helping mothers and daughters create ultimate and lasting confidence in their lives.

As part of BlogHer’s collaboration with Dove, we were asked to log onto the Self-Esteem Toolkit and Resource page and choose an activity to do with a special girl in our lives. As mentioned, my daughter is 16, so we chose to do a “life goals” project: research a significant woman in history, then compose a written and visual report about her life accomplishments, the obstacles she faced and overcame, etc. We were also asked to answer this question, “What made this woman beautiful?”

Katharine Hepburn on the set of "The African Queen," circa 1951
Katharine Hepburn on the set of “The African Queen” circa 1951

We chose classic movie star Katharine Hepburn. Yes, we all think of her as beautiful, but she herself never did. She said her mouth turned down and she was tall and lanky, nothing like other Hollywood stars of the time. And she wore pants all the time.

But my daughter and I decided that Hepburn’s looks aren’t what made her beautiful. It’s the fact that she lived her life independently, boldly and without regret. She lived life on her own terms and didn’t apologize for her choices.

“Life is to be lived,” she once famously said. “If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.”

My daughter sees that I’m doing that with my life, writing about things I love and working with people on Reel Life With Jane in a kind and positive community atmosphere. This is all she’s ever known me to do, and I hope she can see that you don’t have to work at a dull job to make it in the world. You can create a life based around work you love.

We researched Katharine Hepburn through websites, archival magazines in my collection, and books, including her own 1996 autobiography, “Me : Stories of My Life,” and A. Scott Berg’s “Kate Remembered,” which he wasn’t allowed to release until after her death (and it was published a mere 13 days after she died). And yes, both of those books are in my collection.

Here’s Hepburn rearranging the furniture for a Dick Cavett interview, and below is a great clip from “Woman of the Year,” in which she co-starred with lifelong love Spencer Tracy.

Do you have a special girl in your life? Consider checking out the resources at Dove and helping her to move forward in life with bold confidence, independence and strength.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I also love the message Dove sends – so valuable for all of us, especially young girls who ALL go through self-doubt. And Katharine Hepburn was the epitome of beautiful, not just because of her looks!

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